For the first time since 2020, the Northern Roots Festival in Brattleboro will be a live event.
Courtesy photo
For the first time since 2020, the Northern Roots Festival in Brattleboro will be a live event.

Northern Roots Festival is back — live and in-person for first time since 2020

Concert, pub sing, and full slate of workshops planned for Jan. 28, 29

BRATTLEBORO — After two years of disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s 16th annual Northern Roots Traditional Music Festival returns on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 28 and 29, with various in-person workshops, an evening concert, and three Sunday music sessions.

Part of the traditional music calendar in New England, the Festival showcases the variety of northern musical traditions including Irish, Scottish, English, French Canadian, Shetland, New England, and, this year, French Bal Folk.

Workshops at the Brattleboro Music Center are scheduled from noon to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28. Offerings include celebrations of Bob McQuillen’s tunes and Tony Barrand’s singing, fiddle tunings and stylings, Irish flute technique, English and early New England tunes, Mandolin and guitar techniques, Irish and French-Canadian tunes, and explorations of French Bal Folk.

The Saturday evening concert, at 7:30 p.m., will include performances by Nathan Gourley and Laura Feddersen (Irish fiddle duo), Julia Friend (traditional song), Alex Cummings and Max Newman (English accordion and guitar), and Mary Fraser and Sally Newton (French Canadian fiddle).

Also performing will be Traddleboro 2023. Traddleboro gathers a group of different local musicians each year to perform for the evening concert. Traddleboro 2023 features Keith Murphy, Andy Davis, Fred Breunig, and Amanda Witman.

If you are unable to attend in person, this concert will be livestreamed.

The festival continues on Sunday, Jan. 29, with its three-session afternoon format, with a Pub Sing, French Canadian Session, and Irish Session, all hosted downtown at the River Garden Marketplace from 1 to 5:30 p.m.

Tickets are $35 adult day, $25 adult evening, and $50 adult combo. Youth tickets are $10 day, $10 evening, and $15 combo. Sunday sessions are by donation. Concert seats are limited, and advance purchase is strongly advised.

To reserve your tickets now and learn more about the livestreamed concert, go online at, call the BMC at 802-257-4523, or email [email protected].

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